"I never thought about getting sick or not being able to do my job," Russ Perry told us Sunday. "I just never get sick."
Perry, the Owner/Editor/Publisher of GamecockInsider.com and host of Russ Perry's Gamecock Nation pregame show was admitted into the Lexington County Hospital and would eventually endure a high temperature of 106 degrees by Wednesday the 23rd of September.
"I could see the worried look on the faces of the nurses and doctors," Russ told us from his hospital bed. "When you start feeling better when you temperature falls around 102, then you know you've been sick," Perry reflected. "I remember being relieved when the nurse told me I was down to 102 last Friday ... I knew I was going to be okay after that."
It took the staff of Gamecock Insider two days to find out where Russ was and what was going on. According to his wife, he refused medical treatment early, when he should have been on his way to the hospital immediately.
"It wasn't a smart move on my part at all," reflected Perry. "I never took the possibility of my absence into account. I knew my GCIStaff guys could run the show but I had decided to keep the 'Publish Live' commands under my control following an incident earlier in the season when a story was published before it was given my approval."
Staff Admin personnel were left unable to publish stories live in Perry's absence. For that matter the Staff admin people were unable to login at all because of a change made the night following the UAB game.
"There have been some concerns from some of our members regarding the use of the GCIStaff username," explained Perry. "When I returned home from the UAB game around midnight, I was using some of the new Camelot features to install the different GCIStaff names individually ... and in doing so I had to change their passwords for security's sake and make them all different. When I woke the next morning I was ill beyond description. My fever was climbing fast. I do not remember calling my doctor or driving myself to his office. So a couple of days later when Frank and Jim showed up at the hospital there was no way I was going to be able to remember their passwords. For that matter my temperature was still over 103 at the time and I was having trouble enough focusing on life. I just wanted someone to put me out of my mysery. I was being injected with something like eight mgs of morphine every three hours - I didn't know where I was really."
Last night the passwords came to Russ unexpectedly. Today, GCIStaffs are able to login once again using their personal usernames.
"I have been listening to my moderators, they have called me here at the hospital," Rusty reminded us. "I understand that there are some members who don't want excuses, they don't care about the circumstances and I totally sympathize with those members. What I have decided to do is to pro-rate a refund for those members that were unhappy with our downtime during my illness. Whatever they are paying for their memberships, I'll personally refund them ten days worth of membership fees for the period where we failed to provide them with our normal measure of information. And I would like to add my sincere apologies as well. It was something out of my control - I've learned a lesson and I will be making necessary adjustments/arrangements incase of anything like this happening in the future. Hopefully it will be a long long time, if ever, before an illness of this severity ambushes me again. I obviously was not prepared with regard to the web site and for that I am sorry."
Changes that will now be implimented according to Perry include:
* The GCIStaff username will be used to admin the boards and to moderate when necessary - but only by one person.
* Franky Feathers and USCFan74 will be able to moderate, and have access to admin tools, via their regular usernames.
* Two or three additional assistant editors will be named and they will have full publishing capabilities/powers that will ensure the site remains current even in the unlikely event that Russ should become indisposed or unavailable again in the distant future for whatever unlikely reason. Russ has indicated that one will be a current editor of a west coast magazine, the other a graduate of the USC School of Journalism, and the last a senior upper level midwestern business executive already actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the web site.
* Also, arrangements will be made for stringer coverage of all pertinent USC related events in the future should Russ not be able to attend due to illness or injury.
* The customer service email address has been changed and is now form fed. It addition it will be accessable by the GCStaff admin personnel and will not be tied into their access doors to the site. That way even if the site is down they will still be able to answer customer service emails.
Russ returns home today but it will be several days before he will be able to contribute much. His temperature is still well over 100 but the pain is gone. He is gong to be weak for awhile. In the meantime the moderators are working to put everything back in order immediately. Emails will be answered all day and the moderators will be working with the Seattle office to learn the nuances of the new Camelot software controls.
Finally, Russ wanted to say thanks for the well wishes during his illness. "My sister copied this eCard from the web site," Russ told us this morning. "It's pretty amazing. It was from all the posts. And there were plenty of flowers and cards over the course of the past ten days. I had intended to keep things quiet but with me missing on the Tuesday night Insiders' Report I guess word was going to get out one way or the other. I got a lot of flowers. What I did was to keep the cards so I would know who sent them and then I would have the flowers taken down to the childrens' floor and given anonymously (from Gamecock fans) to some of the little girls down there. I heard they liked them - I liked them too but my room was too small for too many flowers. I kept all the cards and I will be writing to everyone thanking them as soon as I am able to sit-up long enough to write. I think not having any solid food since the 21st of September is what has made me kind of weak."
Did Rusty see the Tennessee game?
"I sure did. My sister and my good friend Dave Suarez came up and watched the game with me in my hospital room. It was the first time I had not been to Knoxville for the Tennessee game since we joined the SEC."
What did you think about the game?
"I thought Demetris Summers looked very good naturally. He's for real. I thought we could have won the game but for some reason or another they just seem to own us mentally. I liked the offensive play calling and the defense - we mixed it up nicely. Now we just have to put the loss behind us and concentrate on winning out one game at a time. This team is capable of finishing very strong if they want to. We'll see."
For those active members who desire a refund for the ten day period during which Russ was hospitalized and GCIStaff personnel were unable to access their admin tools please email:
Include the following in your email:
Registered eMail address:
Subscription Rate: (ie: monthly or annual amount):
Snail Mail Address:
Refunds will be mailed within 30 days of receipt of request.
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